The Grand Friday Brunch - Al Bustan Rotana Hotel, Dubai

Having tried Mega Night at Al Bustan Roana and been surprised by this clever concept of combing the hotel's two Asian restaurants (reviewed here Mega Night ), I was, needless to say, quite interested to see how they did their brunch. At the end of the brunch, four key thoughts emerged in my mind.

1. A spacious, well laid out brunch

When you have an all-day dining restaurant that houses your brunch, you are faced with a challenge to make it a bit interesting and also to play around with space. In terms of area,  there is not much you can do with tables already in position and so on. So what do you? You go out. In the case of the Grand Friday Brunch, it has gone to the lobby. It does wonders for the brunch. A brunch that could have been cramped, is suddenly a spacious affair. It means that favourites like Blue Elephant and Benihana are able to get space that does them justice. Furthermore, the live Saj station can be part of a very large Arabic section that goes way beyond the normal dishes. 


The highlights are obviously the hotel's three restaurants that have dedicated stations - Blue Elephant, Benihana and of course Rotana's signature steakhouse brand, Rodeo Grill. If all you had were dishes from these stations, you would be most satisfied - The Thai satay bar is something fun, and the result is actually quite tasty. 

Rodeo Grill offers two cuts of meat in its station - Striploin and rib eye roast beef is  served. However, I feel the space given to it is quite small. I would like to see it given a  more prominent or eye-catching location, notwithstanding that it is at the door. It just feels small. Also, while two roast beef options are very generous, I  think it would personalize the experience more if they did a bit of live grilling. Yes, there is a separate grill station, but Rodeo Grill has amazing sauces and I would have liked  a 100g piece of rib eye with a bit of sauce for example. Nonetheless, a great part of the brunch.

Benihana is as you know it, but just like with Mega Night, the tempura stood out for me. But judging by the replacing of sushi, I would say that was their most popular dish. There were also a few other interesting stations, like the station that offered some fantastic sliders. I had the Mexican-inspired slider - highly recommended. Elsewhere, the Dip station is a bit of innovation, based on my Abu Dhabi experience at least. It focuses on healthy dishes, and while it may not have been that busy, I hope they will persist with it - people need to be educated as to healthy eating habits. Finally, while the dessert station has what you would want from  dessert station, it is the Oreo station that wowed me. With around 15 odd oreo based desserts, it is rich and indulgent, perfect for the excess that is a brunch. 


The Grand Friday Brunch, at 350AED for the premium Prosecco package is very well priced. I for one am becoming more and more sympathetic with hotels who serve Prosecco instead of champagne. This wonderful drink is being respected at brunches where it flows freely and guests do not appreciate. And it is expensive. A Prosecco gives that festive feeling - and let's face it, how many people would be able to tell the difference between the two?  I would gladly pay 350AED for a Prosecco package matched with some very good dishes. In addition, there are also two reds and two whites for teh mid range and premium package - nice. People need a choice. By the way, the other two packages at 240AED and 270AED support the idea of a value for money brunch. 


With so many brunches around Dubai, it must be so hard to choose. Also, when ingredients for similarly priced brunches are so similar. often coming from the same supplier, it becomes harder to differentiate between brunches. This is where service plays a key role. I watched staff over three hours and saw something very consistent - if it can be done, we will do it, and secondly, there was no overkill on the service. There seemed a nice balance between attending to guests' needs and leaving them to experience the brunch. Very good service. 

The Verdict

A lively brunch that offers great value for money with  a perfect setting for families (kids have a dedicated area by the way). If you love the hotel's restaurants you will love the brunch because brunch really showcases these restaurants and will serve to entice you to return to dine in them.  

The Essentials
Friday Brunch 

Al Bustan Rotana HotelDubai
Friday Brunch at Al Bustan+971 4 282 0000


AED 240* including unlimited soft beverages
AED 270* including unlimited selected beverages
AED 350* including unlimited premium beverages
AED 110* for kids (6-12 years old)
Brandon Stoltenkamp

Disclaimer: I was invited by the hotel to try Mega Night. All views are my own.